A lot of pros see a sick business


"Stop Talking the Talk – Start Walking the Walk" continues to draw response, including a rare ray of light from inside the black hole that the writer (who requested anonymity) calls the evil empire.

Here is further opinion from our readers on the state of radio today.

First of all: No. You can’t use my name. I am currently an employee of The Evil Empire of Media and therefore have lost my right to have a public opinion about the Radio business.

Second: My thirty years in the business include twenty on the Programming side (eight of those years as a very successful Rock Radio Program Director) and ten years of sales (also very successfully) so I feel I am reasonably qualified to have an opinion.


All this talk about cutbacks in sales management, sales staffs, and sales training, along with increased competition from new media completely misses the main reason this wonderful medium is suffering such a decline.

So, what is wrong with Radio?


It used to be said that doing great Radio takes a balance of science and emotion, but with the arrival of ownership consolidation and transfer of control of the airwaves from Radio People to Money People that balance has shifted to virtually 100% science. Nothing happens in this business that isn’t carefully researched and mathematically quantified, and while I agree that research which provides us with real, measurable data about our listeners’ lives is worth having – where they live, what they earn, their level of education, what they buy, what movies and television shows they watch are all useful information – – using mathematics to quantify how a listener might react emotionally to songs they hear on the radio and then using those numbers to create formulaic formats packaged in neat little boxes has been the single biggest factor driving the erosion of radio listener loyalty over the last ten or fifteen years. That along with the homogenization and standardization of everything from production styles, to copywriting, to contests, promotions, and even the timing of our commercial breaks has made Radio just plain BORING.

Yes, it was a sad day for Radio when programming was taken out of the hands of media freaks, musicologists, audiophiles, and other assorted creative types, and put into the hands of statisticians and bean counters. Creativity in Radio is gone and with it any reason for listeners to form the kind of emotional bond they used to have with their favorite radio station.

We desperately need a return to the "Field of Dreams" school of Radio Programming. Make it our highest priority to keep the best interests of our target listeners in mind at all times, find and hire talented, creative people, let them build a great radio station, and the listeners will come.

…and another

Congrats. To Carnegie’s Observation "Walking the Walk." The CEOs mucked it up (radio). They know how to fix it but can’t because they are stuck in bottom line mode. Bring back local jocks, not voice tracking (for starters). I love radio but for gawds sake I too am tired of the same old hash at RAB. I too quit going because it is a waste of time and money.I spoke at RAB 2000 about the huge advantage radio had in a stake in the internet. But they laughed. By and large they (radio execs) still don’t get it.

Dennis Heinz